Christmas Eve

One year after the tsunami. Various ceremonies. But, what is in the aftermath?

Johnny Damon, shaved and not stirred (there’s a picture of him shaved somewhere in that link).

“Doonesbury” of late has been interesting – B.D. is slowly making his way to the V.A. hospital for counseling. Mike’s daughter Alex has spent this week writing the most ridiculous college application essays (one about her ex-boyfriends and how dumping them has taught her Important Life Lessons; one on page 318 of her autobio (umm, that might be the UPenn application, I believe), where she imagines winning the Nobel Prize and thanking her fill-in-the-blank college alma mater; and one where she forgot to edit and plugged in “I’ll be so proud to be at Yale,” when it was an essay for another school entirely). Someone wrote in to the Doonesbury FAQ, accusing Garry Trudeau of not being pro-Christmas, so the “Doonesbury” website posted Christmas strips of the past. Cool stuff – ranging from the 70’s (wherein Kim Rosenthal Doonesbury as a toddler spending her first Christmas as a Vietnamese adoptee sang a non-Christmas diddy while everyone else in Doonesbury world sang Christmas songs – wait, weren’t Kim’s folks Jewish – why do they have a Christmas tree for?) to the poignant Gulf War Christmas (where Boopsie’s thinking about B.D. in his first tour of duty in the Gulf) to the Dec. 2001 Christmas (B.D. on guard duty at World Trade Center’s remains).

NY Times’ Christmas editorial:

You don’t really have to be in the mood for the Fourth of July. No one ever talks about having that Memorial Day spirit. Even Thanksgiving can be distilled, without too much disrespect. But Christmas is something different. Feeling is the point of it, somewhere under all that shopping. To think of Scrooge is to think of his conversion, the cartwheeling of his emotions after his long night of the soul. But the more interesting part of the story is his dogged resistance to feeling the way everyone thinks he’s supposed to feel – about death, about charity, about prize turkeys hanging at the poulterer’s.

Most of us know how we want to feel this time of year, whatever holiday we are celebrating. We want to feel safe, loving and well loved, well fed, openhanded, and able to be moved by the powerful but very humble stories that gather in this season. We would like to feel that there is a kind of innocence, not in our hearts, since our hearts are such complicated places, but in the very gestures and rituals of late December. We would like to feel that we are returning to something unchanged, some still spot in a spinning world. Whether you believe with an absolute literalism or with a more analogic faith, whether you believe at all, whether you are Christian or Jewish or Muslim or merely human, the word we would like to feel most profoundly now is Peace. [….]

One night will not do it, nor will one day. Peace does not simply appear in the sky overhead or lie embodied one morning in a manger. We come into this season knowing how we want it to make us feel, and we are usually disappointed because humans never cease to be human. But we are right to remember how we would like to feel. We are right to long for peace and good will.

Merry Christmas to all! Wishes for Peace and Good will on Earth.

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